Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 35

ISTOCK.COM / DANIEL CHETRONI

Georgia agency
develops accurate
broadband map
By Deana Perry

G

ANTHONY STALCUP PHOTOGRAPHY

ov. Brian Kemp's office has released a new, more accurate
The new map brings
map that identifies areas in Georgia that are not served by
high-speed internet or broadband service.
more transparency to the
The Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative (GBDI) of
internet marketplace and
the Department of Community Affairs is the state agency tasked
clarifies which households
with developing the map. The agency's ongoing partnership with
the Georgia Technology Authority and the Carl Vinson Institute
do not have access to
of Government at the University of Georgia in Athens allows the
high-speed internet.
opportunity to illustrate statewide challenges to internet access
and provide an effective tool for data-driven decisions.
The new map reflects more than 5 million locations in all
Deana Perry
159 Georgia counties. In the span of 18 months, data was collected by overlaying every home and business with data from
broadband service providers for each location. This provides an
in-depth view of served and unserved areas. Previously, the Federal Comusing preliminary mapping results.
munications Commission (FCC) produced a similar map, but it inaccurateThe barriers to broadband access are not
ly reported the areas served by high-speed internet service.
unique to Georgia, but are part of a national narData now available statewide and by county can be compared with
rative about the digital divide. GBDI collaboration
earlier FCC mapping. The new map brings more transparency to the
with surrounding states has provided insight into the
internet marketplace and clarifies which households do not have access to
challenges in different areas and set a precedent for
high-speed internet.
how to develop partnerships that lead to sustainable
In total, 43 of the 44 broadband providers in Georgia provided data
outcomes.
for this effort. Based on the new map, 507,341 locations and 50,728 census
Tamarah Holmes, Virginia's broadband director,
blocks (units of measure used to count people in the census) are unserved
says the work here in Georgia has "forever changed
by internet providers. Nearly 70 percent of these locations are in rural areas. the face of broadband mapping."
This data can be used to direct investment to unserved areas of the state.
As the GBDI continues to navigate the broadLocal communities and internet providers will be able to assist with planband landscape, there will be even more opportunining efforts and track changes in broadband availability.
ties to learn, effect change and help build strong,
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed what the GBDI has known
vibrant communities.
for some time: Internet access needs to be available to everyone. As schools
Deana Perry is the executive director of the
shifted to distance learning, inequality in access was made abundantly
Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative at the
clear.
Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
In an effort to develop a short-term solution, the GBDI partnered with
internet service providers and a multi-agency network to develop a list of
public locations across the state that offered free Wi-Fi and to create a direcSee the new Georgia Broadband Map online at
broadband.georgia.gov/maps.
tory of free or low-cost connectivity options. The GBDI has also assisted the
Department of Education in the deployment of remote learning solutions
www.georgiamagazine.org

35


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Georgia Magazine - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - September 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 8
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 9
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 10
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 11
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 12
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 13
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 14
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 15
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 16
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 17
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 18
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 19
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 20
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 21
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 22
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 23
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 24
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 25
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 26
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 27
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 28
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 29
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 30
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 31
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 32
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 33
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 34
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 35
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 36
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 37
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 38
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 39
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 40
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 41
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - 42
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - September 2020 - Cover4
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